Quote Originally Posted by Aggie
Then why do we have seperate forums for 35mm and medium format, not to mention rangefinder forums?
Beats me. I wasn't around when they were set up. One justification is that many, perhaps most, of the discussions in those forums focus on equipment. Having separate forums may make it easier to find discussions of interest. But when it comes to technique, I'm not sure there's much difference across them.

Quote Originally Posted by Aggie
As to the orginal proposal of the macro forum, I still think it is an excellent idea. I've taught school, and heard the same questions semester after semester. This on a college level. It is not begging to ask a question. What we all forget is that people learn differently. some like the books, some are uber geeks and use computers well. Others are visual and need to see it all done first so they take workshops, others take college classes. It all varies. Yes I find many questions redundant. Yet there is a spark of interest behind that question. To belittle a person for asking a oft asked one and extinguish that spark, I would rather answer and point in the right direction. If I had a teacher/professor in college that said don't ask me questions, go to the internet and google it, I would march straight into the administration building and lodge a formal complaint. Here we are not paying for our education, but rather we subscribe to be among others with similar interests. If we ask a question so be it. I have taken many art classes over the years. Some subjects from different teachers on the same exact medium. This because not one teacher taught the exact same thing. There are new insights you learn from others. What one book as you say might have a set formula for doing it an exact way, another may differ. Yes reading is good, but nothing beats being able to discuss it with those who have tried and either succeeded or failed. It is through those experiences we can really learn valuable insights the books don't always mention. Do any of the books take into consideration what to do when you are in an area of only 2 to 3 stops difference in exposure readings? What about being in a place where it is supper humid? I coudl come up with so many weird questions, I doubt the books or the internet would have an answer too. Yet here on apug there might be a person who did experience it, and had not thought to share their experience until the question was posed. We never know what pearls of wisdom may come from a simple question posed to a large group. To this extent i heartily support the macro forum's creation.
On the one hand, of course each student is special and unique. The best way to teach one probably isn't best for any of the others.

On the other, what we're trying to teach is more how to solve problems than solutions to them. Simply answering questions isn't, IMO, the best way to teach problem solving. I do have a strong bias here. The teachers who taught me the most in college and grad school were the ones who asked hard questions and made me work out the answers myself. I learned less from better pedagogues who put the material across well but didn't ask hard questions than from teachers who explained poorly but asked hard questions and didn't let me and my classmates off the hook.

I find your example of "a teacher/professor in college that said don't ask me questions, go to the internet and google it" wrong-headed. In that setting, the appropriate response is a hint or directions to a journal article or book.

Quote Originally Posted by Aggie
Yes Dan we will agree to disagree.
Amicably, I hope.